15 Aug Google ‘goes modular’ with its new Headquarters
Despite continuing efforts to make them as eco-friendly as possible, few would associate modular buildings with nature. This is about to change, however, as Google unveils the plans for its new corporate Headquarters in Mountain View, California.
Flexibility. Transparency. Nature. These are the primary qualities of the proposal that Google is working on, and from the renderings that are available, it is plain that these buildings will be truly groundbreaking, and will give an accurate picture of what the cities of the future could look like. The soaring, translucent canopies are reminiscent of Devon’s Eden Project, and show what can be achieved when nature and technology truly work together.
The requirements for transparency and nature are obviously met by the futuristic, yet eco-friendly ‘tents’, but what is being done to make this amazing area into a flexible workspace? To quote Google’s Vice-President: “Instead of constructing immovable concrete buildings, we’ll create lightweight block-like structures which can be moved around easily as we invest in new product areas.” – In other words, modular buildings are the keystone of this workspace of the future.
The flexibility and portability of modular buildings will allow the offices to be continuously developed, extending their lifetime and ensuring that they will still be ‘buildings of the future’ for a long time to come.
The question that may well be uppermost in many people’s minds is ‘how are these eco-friendly monstrosities going to be built without bringing the whole city of Mountain View to a halt, due to traffic, noise, and dust?’
This is where Modular buildings really come into their own – constructed off-site, and craned into place, they are very quick to build – this means that there is no need for most of the materials that have to be transported to a traditional building site, minimising traffic and dust. Also, the short build time means that the length of time in which disruption happens is minimal, and any delays due to weather are almost impossible, as the manufacture is carried out a controlled environment in a factory – any noise generated is hardly likely to be a nuisance to those near the actual site.
With these advantages – it is hardly surprising that Google has ‘gone modular’.